Crewe Alexandra defender Kelvin Mellor looks set to reject a move up a level to Championship side Derby County, BBC Radio Stoke reports.
The Rams had hoped to lure the 21-year-old to Pride Park on a three-year deal.
But promoted Crewe have responded by making a third improved offer of their own to keep hold of Mellor.
Meanwhile, Crewe boss Steve Davis has also tied up reserve keeper Alan Martin, who had originally seemed set to leave, on a new six-month contract.
Last season's number one Steve Phillips, the Alex's League Two play-off final-winning keeper, is now 34 and weighing up a new contract offer that would involve him coaching the keepers at Crewe.
And Martin, who originally joined the Alex on trial last summer after being released by Leeds United, is hoping that the door could yet open for him at Gresty Road.
"It's a crucial six months for me," Martin told BBC Radio Stoke.
"It's a chance to show that I deserve to be the number one."
As for Mellor, just as is the case with Crewe team-mate Byron Moore, who is also still to decide his immediate future, Davis recommends that now is not the time to move.
Crewe defender John Brayford and midfielder James Bailey are flourishing at Pride Park after making the same move to the East Midlands two summers ago.
And the Alex have seen star forward Nick Powell, tipped to be the club's best-ever discovery, depart to Manchester United.
But Davis, who first had Mellor with him at Nantwich Town, told BBC Radio Stoke: "The attraction of a Championship club might not suit him.
"It might not be the right club for him at this particular time of his career when he still has the chance to develop himself."
Mellor is currently away on holiday but his representatives met up with Davis to discuss the club's latest offer on Tuesday afternoon.
And Crewe are confident that their latest improved offer will be enough to keep him at the club.